Find Your Perfect Viola Strings: Our Top Picks and Reviews

Best Viola Strings

Every stringed instrument will eventually need new strings, and your viola is no exception. When that time comes, it’s crucial to understand the differences between synthetic core, steel core, and gut core strings.

Two of the most important factors to consider are the size of your viola and the string gauge. If you’re unsure which gauge to use, begin with medium gauge string sets. From there, you can experiment with light or heavy gauge string sets to see if they suit your playing style better.

Top 6 Best Viola Strings

Different playing styles demand different strings, but most viola players shift towards synthetic core medium-tension strings. Why? Because they’re affordable and produce a warm tone. They’re also far more durable than gut core strings and gut strings. Want to check out other available options? Here is a list.

Thomastik-Infeld 1414.7
D’Addario Prelude4.5
Pirastro Gold4.7
D’Addario Helicore4.7
Pirastro Obligato4.6
Super Sensitive 41074.5

1. Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant Core Viola Strings

Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant Synthetic Core Viola Strings, Medium Gauge, 4/4 Scale, Set of 4

We’ve tried a variety of strings over the years, but we always seem to come back to the Thomastik-Infeld Dominant viola strings. These strings have a reputation for being some of the most popular viola strings on the market, and after using them, it’s easy to see why.

First of all, the sound of these strings is absolutely amazing. They have a rich, warm tone that is comparable to gut strings, yet they are just as precise as steel core strings. The synthetic core is the perfect balance between the two, delivering a sound that is truly unique.

We were also impressed with how comfortable these strings were to play. The multi-strand nylon core is much gentler on the fingers than steel strings, so we didn’t experience any discomfort or soreness, even after long practice sessions. What really blew us away, though, was the strings’ responsiveness to intricate fingering. Even the most complex passages were a breeze to play with these strings.

Of course, the price of strings can add up quickly, but these medium-gauge Thomastik-Infeld Dominant viola strings offer both durability and the perfect tone at a reasonable price point. We highly recommend them to any viola player looking for a string that delivers on both quality and affordability.


  • Highly flexible multi-strand synthetic nylon core
  • Medium-gauge dominant strings
  • Excellent tuning stability even with atmospheric changes


  • A warm sound that’s full of overtones
  • Stable even when subjected to extreme atmospheric conditions
  • Impressive response to fingerpicking


  • It might take up to a week to break-in.

2. D’Addario Medium Scale Viola String Set

D'Addario Prelude Viola String Set, Medium Scale, Medium Tension

These steel core strings are designed for 15 to 16-inch violas and have a medium tension that feels just right. But what really impressed us was the sound.

Despite the affordable price, these strings have a warm, rich tone that easily rivals more expensive options. They also have an impressive resilience, which means they can stand up to hours of practice and performance without breaking or losing their sound quality.

One thing that really stood out to us about these strings is how well-suited they are to students. The muted tone makes it easier to hide mistakes caused by poor technique, which can be a real confidence booster for young players. But even more importantly, these strings are simply more pleasant to practice with. They have a smooth, even response that makes it easier to get into a flow state while practicing.

The D’Addario Prelude viola strings to any student or amateur viola player who is looking for a high-quality string at an affordable price. They may not have the same prestige as some of the more expensive options out there, but they certainly deliver on both tone and durability.


  • Arrives in a sealed anti-corrosion pouch
  • Solid steel core with warm tone and rapid response
  • Medium tension and designed for medium-scale violas (15 – 16 inches)


  • Warm tone
  • Durable
  • Very affordable


  • They sound too muted; they might lack the crisp clarity needed to play professionally.

3. Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Viola String Set

Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Viola String Set 4/4 Medium

First of all, the tuning stability on these strings is outstanding. We found that once we tuned our viola with these strings, it stayed in tune much longer than with other strings we’ve used in the past. But what really sets these strings apart is the dynamic range.

They have a rich, full sound with impressive overtones that really bring out the best in any viola.

But perhaps the most impressive thing about these strings is the response time. As soon as we started playing with them, we could feel the difference. They’re incredibly responsive, which makes it easy to execute even the most intricate passages with ease. And while they do take a little while to break in, we found that the sound they produce is well worth the wait.

It’s true that these strings come with a pretty steep price tag, but we believe that they’re worth every penny. They’re the gold standard for a reason, and we would recommend them to any professional viola player looking for the very best in tone and responsiveness.


  • Multi-filament fiber core
  • Ball-end strings (removable A-string ball)
  • All strings have peg-end silking


  • A warm tone with rich overtones
  • Outstanding response
  • Excellent tuning stability
  • Impervious to temperature and humidity changes


  • It takes about a week to settle on the viola

4. D’Addario Helicore Medium Scale Viola String Set

D'Addario Helicore Viola String Set, Medium Scale, Medium Tension

The D’Addario Helicore strings have become my go-to choice. From classical to folk music, these strings have never let me down.

Their responsiveness and flexibility make it easy to play with a wide range of dynamics and techniques. The tone is clear, with a complexity that adds depth to any performance. But what really sets them apart is their incredible durability.

I’ve been using the same set for months now, and they still sound as good as the day I put them on.

One thing to note is that these strings aren’t for beginners. They require a bit more finesse and skill to get the most out of them. But for intermediate and advanced players, the D’Addario Helicore strings are the perfect balance of pitch, stability, and richness. And with their multi-fiber core, they offer the same balance and tonal warmth as gut strings without the high cost or fragility.

They’re the perfect choice for any viola player looking for a versatile, responsive, and durable set of strings.


  • Zyex synthetic core
  • Medium-scale viola strings (13 – 14 inches)
  • Medium-tension
  • Packaged in sealed pouches


  • Warm sound with significant volume
  • Easy on the hands
  • Available in different sizes (Extra large, medium, and short)
  • Quite durable
  • Extremely stable in various atmospheric environments


  • The C string’s tone is disappointing

5. Pirastro Obligato Viola String Set

Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5

The first thing I noticed was how easy they were to play. The response time was fast, and the sound was complex yet balanced. As I played, I could hear the depth and warmth of the tone coming through. It was like the strings had transformed my viola into a professional instrument.

One thing that stood out to me was how stable they were when tuning. I hardly had to tune them, and they didn’t fall out of tune like some other strings I’ve tried in the past. This made playing even more enjoyable as I could focus more on the music and less on keeping my viola in tune.

These strings are for any intermediate or advanced viola player looking for a high-quality sound. The Pirastro Obligatos offer the best of both worlds with the complexity of gut core strings and the stability and response of synthetic core strings. They’re definitely worth the investment.


  • Ball-end steel strings
  • Medium gauge


  • They hold the tune very quickly
  • Produces beautiful, mellow sound
  • Tons of resonance/volume


  • These strings are expensive compared to other dominant strings.

6. Super Sensitive Steel Core Viola Strings

Super Sensitive Viola Strings (4107)

When it comes to affordable viola strings for beginners, the Super Sensitive strings should be at the top of your list. Made in the USA, they have a finer sinking, which makes them easier to install, and they tune up quickly and impressively stable for strings at this price point.

One of the best things about these steel core strings is their clear and warm tone, thanks to the dampening material used in their construction.

While they may not have the same level of resonance or tone quality as more expensive strings, they are a great choice for beginner or student violists who are still developing their technique and style.

Overall, the Super Sensitive viola strings are a great option for anyone who wants to get started with playing the viola without breaking the bank. They offer a good balance of affordability, playability, and tone quality, making them a reliable choice for any beginner or student player.


  • Round solid steel core
  • Flat nickel winding
  • Medium gauge


  • Superb tonal quality
  • Affordable
  • Durable


  • Strings need lots of rosins to sound good



Frequently Asked Questions

How many strings does a viola have?

It has four strings. The viola strings’ names are – C, G, D, and A strings. C is the lowest string, whereas A is the highest one.

Do I need to replace the viola’s strings more often?

It depends on how much you play your instrument and how well you maintain the strings. For instance, aluminum-wound strings are susceptible to sweat, so they wear out quickly if you don’t clean them after every practice/playing session.
In any case, you should consider replacing your strings if they start to lose resonance or become more challenging to play, especially when you’re playing a piece with vibrato.

Why does gauge matter?

The gauge of a string is nothing but its thickness. A thicker string (heavy gauge) will produce a more resonant, centered tone, whereas a thinner string (light gauge) will have a much lighter tone and less resonance.
While some musicians prefer one over the other, most prefer to stick to a medium gauge with a balanced tone and resonance. The gauge you pick should ultimately complement your playing style.

Our Top Pick

The D’Addario Helicore Viola String Set is something worth considering. Suitable for all playing styles and multiple genres, these strings are the ideal pick for viola players of any expertise, be it novice or expert. The string’s excellent pitch, made possible using exclusive Zyex core material, and the impressive tuning stability make these strings very easy to play, not to mention incredibly durable.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *